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Cities With Denser Cores Do Better

Packed city centers are correlated with economic growth, talent levels, and diversity.
relates to Cities With Denser Cores Do Better
Jannis Tobias Werner/

Density — the close clustering of people together in communities — is a big factor in the technological and economic progress of cities and nations. Economists, urbanists, and place makers have found density to be associated with everything from greater energy efficiency to higher levels of skilled and talented people, higher rates of innovation, and higher income.

Most studies of the effects of density measure it rather crudely, as I noted recently, and simply average out the number of people per unit of land area. By this standard measure, Los Angeles is denser than New York. But density is far, far more concentrated in the center of Manhattan than anywhere in L.A.